Progreso, Yucatán — Residents and visitors complain that they were shooed away from the public beach to make way for a privately owned attraction.
An inflatable playground of sorts, emblazoned with Sprite soft drink logos, appeared seemingly overnight on the shore. Called Mayan Splash, the play zone charges a fee to use it.
General admission is 100 pesos for half an hour.
The newspaper Progreso Hoy tracked down the owner, identifying it as the Coca-Cola distributor Bepensa, based in Cancun.
Non-customers were chased away by workers claiming their part of the beach is a “restricted zone.”
Local ship owner Felipe Jiménez, who was visiting the beach with his family, objected to his treatment on public property.
The sea cannot be commercialized, he told the newspaper.
A mother who was also evicted by workers complained that she felt disrespected by crew.
Visitors also speculated that the structure poses a danger to bathers.
Progreso Hoy’s reporter opined that the situation deserves to be brought before federal authorities.
Two decades ago, Coca-Cola rafts were built along the same beach, but back then they were offered for free and without restriction.
These attractions were very successful at the time, reports Progreso Hoy.